Thursday, May 8, 2014

10 Things My Mom Taught Me

She rivals a few of my girlfriends for title of best friend. I don't know exactly when it happened but somewhere between high school and college I realized I had more than a mom in my mom. I had a friend. I think it happens that way most of the time. Once we grow and mature and realize that all the things that we endured as children were really mostly for our own good...we find a friend in this caring individual we call mom.

Here are 10 Lessons My Mom Taught Me..

1. She was raised in extreme poverty..and because of that she taught me how to make the most of what I had. Whether it was food, or my house or even my wardrobe. She taught me to mix and match, look for bargains and use leftovers.

2. She taught me the value of using my time wisely. She was a housewife who modeled the work ethic of a career woman. She cleaned and gardened and cooked and homeschooled and served in our church.

3. She taught me to make time for friends. Before the days of Facebook and texting and even cell phones, I remember mom using the corded phone in the garage. Us kids knew that if the phone cord was wrapped around the kitchen door to the garage that she was on an important call....even if that meant she was just catching up with Ms. Nell or Ms. Shirley (her best friends). Those ladies permed each other's hair, went antiquing and could talk over coffee for hours. (Excuse me while I try to get the smell of the home perm out of my nostrils.)

4. She taught me to make fun memories with my kids. The Grist Mill at Stone Mountain Park was a small little swimming hole that we used to meet up with friends for an early morning hike and breakfast and swim. She also took a painting class and cake decorating class with me....not to mention she engaged in basketball season for all 6 years that I played!

5. She taught me the value of God's Word. She woke up early every morning, made a pot of coffee and sat in her "spot" in the living room. For years we knew that if she wasn't finished with her quiet time, we were to stay in our rooms. In school she and my dad required us to memorize scripture and long before it was cool to journal...we were journaling our thoughts about and towards God.

6. She's taught me how to trust God in the hard times. She became a widow at age 40, but long before that she knew grief. Having been raised in dysfunction, alcoholism and abuse she knew what it was like to grieve and mourn without anyone dying. Her testimony of God's faithfulness has gotten me through more than one hard time. Now it's become my testimony too.

7. She taught me to be hospitable. We had missionaries and evangelists and friends in our home ALL the time. We made pallets and slept on the floor more times that I care to remind my back. We adopted college students on the weekends and housed orphans and cousins and widows when the need arose. We were not wealthy. We struggled. But God always seemed to provide for those extra people..and mom hardly ever turned away the opportunity to serve someone a meal.

8. She taught me the value of a good education. First by sacrificing to put three kids in private school, then by homeschooling us and then by helping me find a good college to go to. But it really didn't stop there. She is a lifelong learner..she reads constantly, goes to conferences and talks with professionals in her line of work (counseling). She motivates me to read up on bestsellers and good articles. She challenges me to grow my mind.

9. She taught me how to love my husband by modeling a Christ-centered marriage to my dad. Perfect? Oh mom was a strong woman..and when they fought...they FOUGHT but it was rare and even though there was an occasional disagreement, I never feared my parents would divorce or abandon the family. She walked my dad to the door every morning as he left for work. She smooched him "goodbye" and "hello". She fixed his favorite foods and even rubbed his stinky feet. She encouraged him, pushed him, believed in him and openly prayed for him.

10. Certainly not the last lesson...but the last one for this post....She taught me to invest in people. She's a Christian counselor who pours her life into others 40 hours a week. She charges fees on a sliding scale and even does some work pro-bono. She listens as others tell their horrible tales of despair and she helps them process their lives. She's helped me on more than one occasion. She truly gives herself away.

So this Mother's Day...and every day...Thanks mom...for modeling Godly womanhood to me. Perfect...hardly.'s this imperfect motherhood that gives me hope that one day, maybe, just maybe I will have come close to being the kind of mom you are today.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

I'm glad, first of all, to see that you're still writing. And now, after having read your post, I don't think there's any way you could not write!

This is a beautiful tribute to your mom, Gina, and a great list that has me thinking of what I might say about my mom. She lead me to Christ when I was seven, and that is an excellent beginning point.